Villains & Vigilantes™: the Origin Story
Jeff Dee and Jack Herman first met in high school in Cary Illinois way back in 1977. Our shared interest in comics and gaming led to the argument which gave rise to our Villains and Vigilantes™ superhero role-playing game: who would win in a fight, Spider-Man or the Human Torch? We decided to game it out... which meant coming up with game rules for superhero combat!
Soon we were running our newly created superhero RPG, which we named "Villains and Vigilantes" (V&V™ for short), for our own local gaming group. Our player's characters called themselves... the mighty Protectors!
Villains and Vigilantes was the first complete superhero role-playing game. Its second edition featured random character generation, d20-based combat and 'hit points' reminiscent of other early tabletop RPGs, and the option for players to make characters based on themselves. Because superheroes and role-playing games are awesome! It's an unabashedly old-school approach. Read reviews of V&V here!
In 2010, we set up Monkey House Games™ in order to release V&V 2.1: a re-publication of the '82 second edition with some corrections, new material, and all-new artwork. This was followed by a series of new V&V adventures, including "Infinity Lounge" which you can download for free.
But MHG's ultimate aim was always the publication of a fully updated 3rd edition of V&V. After an unfortunate delay due to legal problems (which have now been successfully resolved), this brings us to...
V&V 3.0: Mighty Protectors!
The new 'third edition' has a name, and not just a number: it’s called MIGHTY PROTECTORS™ after the player group from the very first V&V campaign in our official setting – the Mighty Protectors Multiverse.
Mighty Protectors features a new streamlined and expanded revision of the V&V rules, an intro to the Mighty Protectors Multiverse (about which we've only provided scattered details before), and all-new artwork.
We’ve posted about the new rules extensively on the Monkey House Games website. Expansions and changes include: refined character generation (supporting campaigns at Low, Standard, or High-powered ability levels, and allowing optional character construction in addition to random generation), improved game balance, new super-abilities (such as Arsenal, Grapnel and Communicators), greatly improved rules for old abilities (such as Special Weapons and Vehicles), and new rules for customizing abilities! Check out this sample conversion of the villain Bandit and his Race Car, from the V&V supplement Most Wanted!
Despite these additions and changes, converting characters from Revised / V&V 2.1 is relatively simple. Monkey House Games is also committed to supporting the previous edition of V&V, and so we will include Revised/2.1 stats in all of our 3.0/Mighty Protectors adventures and supplements.
V&V 3.0: Mighty Protectors also includes an extensive overview of the Mighty Protectors Multiverse. Play alongside its greatest heroes, such as the Crusaders, Shatterman and Condor, or the mighty Protectors themselves! Prowl the streets of Central City, explore the fabled Secret Land, travel among the planets of the Sphere, or visit the Interdimensional Library! You can read all about the Mighty Protectors Multiverse on our forums.
Over 5 years in development, Mighty Protectors has been heavily play-tested. The new rules are finished, solid, and awesome. The remaining text work consists of a final editing and usability pass, examples of play, and final page layouts. We also need to create all of its artwork. We estimate that the book will be 140 pages in length. The money we raise will fund this effort, plus the work necessary to complete our stretch goals. We're extremely proud of the work we've already done, and thrilled to finally be able to bring the finished product to you!
You may add any combination of these choices to your pledge. Select any pledge level, while adding the following amounts to the actual amount of your pledge. For example, if you want the $15 PDF and the $64 poster AND the $2 Excel Record Sheet Pack, pledge $81 and select the $15 pledge level. We can figure out exactly what to send you from that.
- +$1 Dr. Killjoy & Spoilsport Foe File PDF, written and illustrated by Jeff Dee. Meet the murderous doctor and his violent kid sidekick!
- +$2 Excel Record Sheet Pack for Mighty Protectors (Character, Vehicle, Group & Combat record sheets). Speeds up character creation and gameplay!
- +$4 Rolla Girlz Gang Guide PDF by Dave Woodrum, illustrated by Tod Allen Smith. Thugs for hire, perfect for street-level campaigns or as henchmen to a more powerful supervillain!
- +$8 UNLOCKED! Softcover edition of Situation Room, an adventure for Mighty Protectors by Jack Herman, illustrated by Jeff Dee (36 pages)
- +$16 UNLOCKED! Softcover edition of Market Forces, an adventure for Mighty Protectors by Stephen Dedman, illustrated by Tod Allen Smith (62 pages).
- +$32 UNLOCKED! Softcover edition of War Heroes, a huge WWII sourcebook for Mighty Protectors by Brian Adams, illustrated by Scott Sackett (300 pages). Read reports from the playtest campaign HERE!
- +$64 A full-color, 17" x 22" poster of the Mighty Protectors cover art, signed by artist Jeff Dee
- +$128 A set of 24 letter-sized prints of illustrations from the Mighty Protectors rulebook, signed by artist Jeff Dee
- +$256 An 8 1/2" x 11" custom color portrait of your V&V3: Mighty Protectors character by artist Jeff Dee, with a signed certificate of authenticity and a PDF of their Mighty Protectors RPG stats!
The following bonuses become unlocked when the project funding these levels:
GOAL REACHED! $19,000: Mighty Protectors Referee Screen. Everyone who pledged at least $15 gets this printable 8 page landscape-format PDF of all of the crucial lists and charts from the new game when funding reaches this level. BONUS: Limited Edition Emblem! Every copy of the Mighty Protectors rulebook purchased through this Kickstarter - PDF, softcover or hardcover - will contain a special emblem and the words "Special Edition" on the title page. The emblem will be specially created for this purchase by co-author/artist Jeff Dee!
GOAL REACHED! $21,000: Market Forces. The softcover edition of this 62-page adventure for Mighty Protectors becomes a $16 add-on when funding reaches this level. Everyone who pledged at least $30 gets a PDF copy of this adventure for FREE! Written by Stephen Dedman, illustrated by Tod Allen Smith. An investigation into local organized crime turns out to have international ties! BONUS: Intercrime Character Conversions! Everyone who pledged at least $15 receives a PDF set of Mighty Protectors character sheets for all 8 characters from our V&V adventure "Intercrime: Hostile Takeover!"
GOAL REACHED! $24,000: War Heroes. The softcover edition of this 300+ page World War 2 sourcebook for Mighty Protectors becomes a $32 add-on when funding reaches this level. Everyone who pledged at least $55 gets a PDF copy of this sourcebook for FREE! Written by Brian Adams, illustrated by Scott Sackett. Seventy characters, period vehicles and equipment, maps, a timeline, and optional rules for an ultra-low-powered Commandos campaign. Team up with Freedom Eagle, Psi-Man, and Stormlord's father, Excalibur! Read reports from Brian's 3.0 playtest campaign HERE! BONUS: Crisis Character Conversions! Everyone who pledged at least $30 receives a PDF set of Mighty Protectors character sheets for all 18 characters from our V&V adventure "Crisis at Crusader Citadel!"
GOAL REACHED! $28,000: Situation Room. The softcover edition of this new 36-page introductory adventure for Mighty Protectors becomes an $8 Add-On when funding reaches this level. Everyone who pledged at least $15 gets a PDF copy of this adventure for FREE! When the Mighty Protectors are called off-world for an interstellar emergency, their worst enemies - The Unhuman League - launch a blood curdling operation to take over America. Can you and your teammates stop them? Written by Jack Herman and illustrated by Jeff Dee.
GOAL REACHED! $33,000: Abomination Realm. The softcover and PDF editions of this new 48+ page adventure/sourcebook for Mighty Protectors become slated for publication when funding reaches this level. Everyone who pledged at least $80 gets a PDF copy of this book for FREE! Uncover the hidden world of monstrous villains - and heroes! Shunned and feared by mankind they lurk just out of sight, undermining (or defending) the civilization which despises them. Face the followers of Sthenno and her monster-lord allies, side with Mother Enyo and her frightful paladins, or play an entire campaign as monstrous heroes - upholding the light from out of the darkness! Written by Jack Herman, illustrated by Neil Vokes!
GOAL REACHED! $39,000: Beyond This World. The softcover and PDF editions of this new 48+ page space adventure/sourcebook for Mighty Protectors become slated for publication when funding reaches this level. Everyone who pledged at least $80 gets a PDF copy of this book for FREE! Explore the worlds of the Spherical Confederation, or oppose their blockade of the Earth. Fight the grim space legions of the distant Technocracy, and the voracious mutant Psynax. Travel all the way to the galactic Core, and fight an eternal war alongside the warriors of Kosmos! Written by Stefan Jones (author of From the Deeps of Space and Infinity Lounge), illustrated by Tod Allen Smith (Star Wars trading card artist, Ancient Evil)!
BONUS!: Enough with the stretch goals. To say thank-you, everyone who pledged at least $15 ALSO receives: 1) The Nicotines Gang Guide PDF by Jack Herman, illustrated by Jeff Dee. This classic street gang from the Revised rulebook returns, with detailed backgrounds, Mighty Protectors stats, and a few surprises! And: 2) the Mighty Protectors Combat Log Book by Manda, aka Talzhemir. Print & assemble this handy accessory for tracking your character's damage, protection, power & hit points. Contributed by Jeff's partner from his other RPG publishing company, UNIgames!
Monkey House Games and Mighty Protectors are trademarks of Monkey House Games. Villains and Vigilantes and V&V are trademarks of Scott Bizar, used with permission.
Risks and challenges
I've been involved with 5 successful role-playing game book Kickstarters and over a dozen art Kickstarters. While projects of those kinds do entail certain risks and challenges, I'm well acquainted with them and foresee no problems.
I'm still delivering the physical map and atlas books from my previous RPG Kickstarter, the Kurt Hills Atlas. The maps will ship within days. The books are still being written by my partner on that project, Talzhemir Mrr. That work is well underway, and those books should ship by the funding deadline of this new project, so this is not expected to be a problem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)